Ebrahim Raisi must be investigated for crimes under international law, Amnesty International said today.
In a statement following today’s announcement declaring Raisi as Iran’s next president Amnesty International said that Ebrahim Raisi must be investigated for “crimes under international law.”
Today’s announcement that Ebrahim Raisi will assume the presidency of Iran, instead of being investigated for crimes under international law, is a grim reminder of the international failure to address a crisis of systematic impunity in Iran, Amnesty International said.
Ebrahim Raisi must be investigated for his role in the killing of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. He was a member of “Death Commission,” which oversaw the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988.
At that time, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who was briefly the heir-apparent to the supreme leader, condemned the killings, saying in an audio recording: “In my view, the biggest crime in the Islamic Republic, for which the history will condemn us, has been committed at your hands, and they’ll write your names as criminals in the history.”
Amnesty International has described the 1988 massacre as a “crime against humanity” and described the charges against Ebrahim Rasi as “murder, enforced disappearance and torture in accordance with international law and standards, including by states that exercise universal jurisdiction.”
Another part of Amnesty International’s statement, points at Ebrahim Raisi‘s record as the Head of the Judiciary.
The rights grop cited the “arbitrary arrests of thousands” of peaceful protesters and dissidents, and “granting blanket impunity to government officials” who were responsible for unlawfully killing hundreds of men, women and children during the protests in November 2019, as further examples of Raisi’s record.
“Since he was appointed as the Head of the Judiciary in March 2019, Ebrahim Raisi also oversaw the arbitrary arrests of thousands of peaceful protesters, dissidents, human rights defenders and members of persecuted ethnic and religious minorities. Under his watch, the judiciary has granted blanket impunity to government officials and security forces responsible for unlawfully killing hundreds of men, women and children and subjecting thousands of protesters to mass arrests and at least hundereds of them to enforced disappearance, and torture or other ill-treatment during and in the aftermath of the nationwide protests of November 2019,” Amnesty said.
During Raisi’s tenure as the Head of Judiciary, the regime arrested thousands of protesters and sent them to prisons, where they were subjected to brutal torture. Raisi’s judiciary executed many political prisoners, including Navid Afkari and Mostafa Salehi. Many others, such as Behnam Mahjoubi and Sasan Niknafs have died under torture in prison.
In 2019, the U.S. Treasury under President Donald Trump sanctioned Raisi “for his administrative oversight over the executions of individuals who were juveniles at the time of their crime and the torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in Iran.”
Amnesty International criticized the “crisis of systemic impunity prevailing in Iran”, which “enabled individuals reasonably suspected of responsibility
for crimes under international law and gross violations of human rights to avoid justice” and “instead, rise to powerful positions.”
AI stressed that in addition to having a “devastating impact on victims and their families”, It has eroded the rule of law and facilitated the repetition of crimes under international law and human rights violations in Iran in a widespread, as well as systematic manner.
AI called on UN Human Rights Council member states to “take concrete steps to address the crisis of systematic impunity for the most serious crimes under international law committed in Iran.”
“This includes establishing an impartial and independent mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve, and analyse evidence that meets general standards of dmissibility in criminal proceedings in order to facilitate future fair and independent criminal proceedings.”
Ebrahim Raisi must be investigated for crimes against humanity
Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard said today, “That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran.”
Callamard said that in 2018, Amnesty documented how Ebrahim Raisi had been a member of the ‘death commission’ which forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed in secret thousands of political dissidents in Evin and Gohardasht prisons near Tehran in 1988. The circumstances surrounding the fate of the victims and the whereabouts of their bodies are, to this day, systematically concealed by the Iranian authorities, amounting to ongoing crimes against humanity.
‘As Head of the Iranian Judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi has presided over a spiralling crackdown on human rights which has seen hundreds of peaceful dissidents, human rights defenders and members of persecuted minority groups arbitrarily detained. Under his watch, the judiciary has also granted blanket impunity to government officials and security forces responsible for unlawfully killing hundreds of men, women and children and subjecting thousands of protesters to mass arrests and at least hundreds to enforced disappearance, and torture and other ill-treatment during and in the aftermath of the nationwide protests of November 2019.
“Ebrahim Raisi’s rise to the presidency follows an electoral process that was conducted in a highly repressive environment and barred women, members of religious minorities and candidates with opposing views from running for office.
Callamard said that Ebrahim Raisi must be investigated for his involvement in past and ongoing crimes under international law, including by states that exercise universal jurisdiction.
“It is now more urgent than ever for member states of the UN Human Rights Council to take concrete steps to address the crisis of systematic impunity in Iran including by establishing an impartial mechanism to collect and analyse evidence of the most serious crimes under international law committed in Iran to facilitate fair and independent criminal proceedings.”